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Bette J. Brown

Bette J. Brown, 87 of Portsmouth died Friday December 22, 2023 at SOMC Hospice. She was born March 5, 1936 in Portsmouth to the late Moreen and Trigg E. Gilmore. Along with her parents she is preceded in death by her brother Woody Gilmore, and a son-in-law Mark Antis.

Bette and her family were members of the Friendship United Methodist Church where they attended for 30 years. She was very active in her church and enjoyed working and worshipping with many of her wonderful friends there. After her children entered school, she began what was to be a part time job that turned into a lifetime career.

She started as a floral designer at Kirby‘s Flowers for John Kirby Sr., who was her mentor for nine years. She worked at Gulker’s gift shop as their floral designer. She spent 12 years as designer for Mike and Janet Doyle at Boulevard Bouquet. She taught two years at Shawnee State in floral design. Also worked 2 1/2 years at Shawnee State Lodge as business and banquet coordinator. She later moved to Columbus and spent three years as showroom designer at the Columbus Gift Mart.

She then returned to Portsmouth to be closer with her family and to finish her career at SOMC in the gift gallery as manager and coordinator for 22 years. It was here that she met so many wonderful people who volunteered with her to design and decorate the shop with many floral designs, decorations, and merchandise for all the different seasons and holidays of the year.

She retired in 2019 at the age of 85 1/2 years. After retiring, she continued to enjoy floral arranging and decorating her home for all the different seasons of the year.

Most of all, she continued to love and enjoy being with her five children, five grandchildren, and lovely 13 great grandchildren. Bette is survived by five children and their spouses, Michael (Lorna) Brown, Sharon Crabtree-Antis, Terry (Gail) Brown, Randall Brown and Bobby Brown. Five grandchildren Kristi (Rhett) Hadsell, Taylor (Mariah) Brown, Dr. Jason (Clara) Brown, Stacy (Jim) Rodarte, and Ashley (Michael) Collins. 13 great grandchildren, Kayla (Timmie ) Hadsell-Hacker, Kaden, Kenna and Kase Hadsell. Leah and Alex Rodarte, Landon , Emerson, Cameron, and Alison Brown, Aiden, Autumn, and Nolan Collins. A brother Steven, a nephew Craig and several nieces.

A memorial service will be held 2:00 PM Sunday, January 7, 2024 at the Roger W. Davis Funeral Home in West Portsmouth with Pastor Tim Roth officiating. Family and friends will gather starting at 1:00 PM. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to SOMC Hospice or Cornerstone Church Condolences may be sent to

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